New plans for the redevelopment of the historic Queen’s Old Castle in Cork City have been filed with Cork City Council.
As part of the proposals, a series of conservation, demolition, renovation and alteration works will take place to allow the construction of a commercial and office development up to seven stories in height.
Located in the heart of the city center, the former department store has been occupied in recent years by various brands. The owners of the Clarendon Properties building are now proposing a major redevelopment of the site which will retain the facade of the building and a number of interior features.
If approved and constructed, the development will provide 9,728 square meters of office space and 123 square meters of retail space. The developers have said that the proposed office space will be designed to suit a single user or multiple users with subdivisions of the space.
The Queen’s Old Castle department store was built in the 1840s. It closed in 1978 and was briefly occupied by a Penneys store before being redeveloped into a shopping center in 1980. It was acquired by Clarendon who transformed it. into two large business units.
A previous planning application from Clarendon, through City Properties (Cork) Ltd, obtained a clearance in October which would have allowed for a more modest redevelopment of the site.
According to planning documents, the new project was designed to retain the original traditional facade as well as an element of the commercial function of the ground floor.
“The status quo of keeping the building as it is – is simply unacceptable and if maintained it will lead to an extremely disappointing situation for Ireland’s second city for which there is a nationwide aspiration to double in size to counterbalance the Dublin-centric approach to development, ”the documents state.
“To be taken seriously as a city we need scale and it is developments like this that will help to realize Cork and its inner city vision to become a sustainable urban destination and thrive in as an economic engine for the region. “
In pre-planning discussions with city council, planners said the current proposal was a “significant improvement” from the previous proposal. They also said the different building heights, a mix of three stories, four stories, six stories and seven stories and their recessed nature would work well at the site.
Planning documents also highlight the need to place jobs and jobs in areas well served by public transport. “If this has a chance to happen, reducing dependence on the car is essential – the proposed development will help achieve a compact city center in a highly sustainable part of the city, with transport modes favoring walking, cycling and using public transport. transport.”
“Employment on the outskirts of the city and in the centers of the districts is of course positive, but it does not support the key retailers in the city and the hospitality food and beverage sector which is a key element. of every prosperous city.
“Ensuring that the city center has a critical mass of visitors, tourists and employees is absolutely crucial not only in these uncertain times, but also in general as a hub of public transport the city is accessible from all key locations and as such this is the most sustainable place. to find a job.
The Queen’s Old Castle development architect is O’Mahony Pike headed by Conor Kinsella, the planners are Butler O’Neill headed by Clara O’Neill and the engineers are Arup. A planning decision on demand is expected by the end of September.
Clarendon owns a number of key properties in Cork. In partnership with Bam, they recently developed the Dean Hotel near Kent Station and the adjacent office building on Horgan’s Quay.
They also own the Wilton and Merchant’s Quay shopping centers with a building permit in place for their redevelopment.
In June, Clarendon filed a new town planning application to reconfigure the interior design of the historic Savoy building, significantly expanding the old Quills store, incorporating some of the smaller units located in the center. A decision on that request is expected later this month.